Out with the old

I always have a hard time throwing out last year’s calendar. I’m pretty sure, if I dug through all my drawers, I could find at least the last five years’ worth. I’m always eager to get to the last page of the calendar and throw it out. And then I stand, with my foot on the lever of the trash, poised to toss it in as I start looking back over the months. The last few are so recent, they hardly feel nostalgic. Then I flip back a few more months. I see road trips planned and taken, my Godson’s Christening, my parents “closing date” on my childhood house, Joe’s and my tenth anniversary, the day I started this blog, IEP meetings and the doctor’s appointments, oh, the IEP meetings and doctor’s appointments! So many worries that never came to pass… or did, but weren’t as bad as I worried them to be.

Weaknesses that eventually became strengths. Cracks in the foundation that could have brought it all tumbling down, but somehow didn’t.

I wasn’t trying to be poetic in my Facebook status when I said, “2012 was a year of incredible challenges, but also amazing triumphs. You can’t appreciate the sweet without the sour and we are surely relishing the sweet!”

I truly believe that.

Joe and I were reflecting on the year the other night and he said, “I can’t figure out if 2012 sucked or not.” I said, “It depends on which kid I think of.” In reality, it doesn’t matter. We are all still here. We are all healthy. We are no worse for the wear. I can’t whine about a year in which Henry, who we thought was going to have a lifelong disability, made such amazing strides that he no longer has a diagnosis! I can’t complain about a year in which Finn, despite major tumult between us and the school, has actually made a friend and skips off to the bus in the morning! What’s so bad about a year in which my only daughter acts and looks more like me every day (and it scares the crap out of me!) Who could complain about a year in which Charlie, the biggest heart of them all, read Autism awareness books to a Kindergarten class and reads at the 4th grade level?

Sure, we had some crazy stuff happen this year, but if I tell you everything I’ll just feel like I’m complaining. I always think of the quote by Regina Brett, “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” So, I will spare you the laundry list.

Every year has peaks and valleys. They seem to be all that stick out. I am choosing to see the peaks. I am choosing the triumphs. If I had the good and the bad to live over again, I still wouldn’t change a thing.

I couldn’t.

What if it changed the ending?

“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?” ― Thornton Wilder


8 thoughts on “Out with the old

  1. That is one of my favorite lines ever, Shannon, from Our Town. I agree, no regrets only blessings, and special, even it they didn’t go according to our plans ;). xoxo

  2. Shannon, I really enjoy reading your blog and just wanted you to know that I think that you and Joe are absolutely incredible parents! Your children are thriving and happy because you two make such a great team. I love seeing pictures of all the kids in your family – especially when you have sleep-overs at Suzanne’s and all the little ones are cozying up in their pj’s. So many beautiful kids! I’m sure your mom and dad love them all to pieces are so proud that all of their children have turned out to be such great parents.

  3. Nicole, I wanted to write the one about choosing an average day because it would be important enough. That always makes me cry. But the context wouldn’t translate in a quote! I always think of that, though. It’s the mundane days we’d want back, not the holidays!

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